Dr. Fishman Reports At Meeting Of Committee On Prosthetic Research And Development

A report on the latest developments in the child amputee program was presented at the semi-annual meeting of the Committee on Prosthetic Research and Development by Dr. Sidney Fishman of New York University, on behalf of the Subcommittee on Children's Prosthetics Problems. The meeting of CPRD was held at Phoenix, Arizona, from November 29 to December 1, 1961.

Long-Term Study of PTB

Dr. Fishman revealed that the research design for the proposed long-term study of the effects of fitting the Patellar Tendon-Bearing Prosthesis to juvenile amputees has progressed to a point where objectives of the study have been clearly defined and general procedures clarified.

Data gathering techniques and instruments are now being developed and tried out at New York University. The essential features of the study are:

  1. Description of the Patellar Tendon-Bearing Prosthesis fitted to each child in the study, by defining such factors as method of suspension, anterior-posterior and medio-lateral alignment, and weight-bearing areas in the socket.

  2. Evaluation of bone changes occurring as a result of continued wear of the PTB prosthesis, primarily by means of sequent X-ray pictures.

  3. Determination of the effects of the PTB prosthesis on the ligamentous structure of the knee, essentially by means of clinical examinations and gait analyses.

It is anticipated that data will be gathered on each child in the study approximately twice a year and that the study will be continued from three to five years post-fitting. According to present plans, the study will be initiated early in 1962.

"Brainstorming" Conference

Plans are now being formulated for the forthcoming "brainstorming" design conference on children's prosthetic devices which will take place early in 1962. At a recent meeting, Dr. Charles H. Frantz, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Children's Prosthetics Problems; Dr. Fred Leonard of the Army Prosthetics Research Laboratory, Dr. Fishman and others developed a tentative agenda for the two-day conference.

Selected engineers and designers, prosthetists and orthopedic surgeons will delineate needed improvements in prosthetic components for both upper and lower-extremity amputees. The engineers and designers will then attempt to formulate designs to resolve the problems identified in the joint discussions.

APRL-Sierra Model No. 1 Hand (Left)

Minor defects apparent in thirty-eight Model 1 left hands are currently being corrected by the Sierra Engineering Company. It is expected that the hands will be returned to NYU-Child Prosthetic Studies within the next month. An initial sample of seven left hand gloves has been received from the Kingsley Manufacturing Company and is considered to be satisfactory for use in the evaluation program.

Plans for the field study of the hand have been distributed to the participating clinics and a number of clinics have already submitted possible candidates for the study.

Normative Survey Data

The 15 clinics participating in the study have so far submitted Normative Survey data on 776 children. A drive is under way to achieve the goal of 1,000 cases by June 30, 1962.